Vormoza Ambush

From Atlas
Vormoza Ambush
Part of Second Ziridavan Civil War

Ziridavan anti-government rebels stand near a destroyed Stasnovan BTR, shortly after the ambush.
Date28 April 1986
Vormoza, Ziridava
Result Decisive rebel victory
Ziridava Anti-government rebels  Stasnov
Commanders and leaders
Ziridava Evegeny Grozda Stasnov Major Ivan I. Kamarov
60 rebels

46th Air Assault Brigade

  • 1 battalion
Casualties and losses
6 killed, 6 wounded 70-105 killed, 10 captured

The Vormoza Ambush was an attack by forces of the Ziridavan anti-government rebels near the town of Vormoza in the province of Smorozy, during the 2nd Ziridavan Civil War.


The attack wrecked the column of a elements from 8th Air Assault Batallion, 46th Air Assault Brigade (AAB) and killed 53 servicemen and injured 52, according to official figures. The first reports by the officials spoke of only XX killed and XX wounded. According to the other sources, between 70 to 105 soldiers of the 46th AAB died in the ambush. 10 were also captured.

According to the second-hand account by a foreign volunteer fighting for rebel forces, Evegeny Grozda's detachment of 60 men chose a "perfect ambush spot" with a ravine and a stream on one side and a forested slope on the other side of a serpentine road: the rebels first let the Stasnovan recon squad through and then detonated an IED under the leading vehicle; simultaneously, a volley of RPGs hit the unit's command vehicle, killing the Stasnovan commander instantly, and the APC at the end the column - after this, the rebels opened fire on the rest of the Stasnovan unit. The three-hour attack burned 27 armoured vehicles and trucks in the convoy and few Stasnovan soldiers survived "the slaughter", while the rebel losses were minimal.


A video of the ambush and its aftermath, widely distributed and celebrated among rebel forces in Ziridava, featured rebel commander Evegeny Grozda "walking triumphantly down a line of blackened Stasnovan corpses". The ambush was also a major influence in Stasnov's decision to withdraw from the war.

The ambush was also a major blow to the morale of government forces, with mutinies beginning soon after as well as an increase in ZPA defections to rebel forces. The Stasnovan forces were significantly shaken by the heavy casualties of the ambush. News of the ambush were suppressed for a week after the event, but they eventually reached the public in Stasnov, and led to pro-peace and anti-intervention protests, while hardliner factions called for vengeance. The commander of the Stasnovan Group of Forces in Ziridava, Major General Fyodor Nikitin came under heavy pressure from his regimental and battalion commanders to assume a more decisive and aggressive posture against the rebels. The defection of the 75th Mechanized Infantry Regiment to the rebel side gave Nikitin a conventional target to strike, and he secured permission from Vastava and the local ZPA commander to attack, which led to the Battle of Shimvaxi.